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GlassBook Project: Newark Exhibit Opens at Newark Public Library 

Exhibit and Special Program to Address the Nature and Impact of Psychological Trauma During

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Newark, NJ - The GlassBook Project, a dynamic, mysterious and evocative artwork that examines how some trauma survivors cope in the aftermath, opens this month at the Newark Public Library (NPL). The exhibition open now through December 31 opened earlier in October to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and will include special programming during at an opening event on October 28 to address the nature and impact of trauma "beyond sensationalism." The Project is an artwork of Nick Kline, a fine artist based in New York City, done in collaboration with project partner Witness Justice, and other artists, survivors, students and community organizations.

NPL GlassBook Project Exhibit
NPL Exhibit, Photo by Nick Kline


In the GlassBook Project, survivors meet with college students to share their trauma experience and explain how certain behaviors helped them cope. These behaviors (frequently labeled as symptoms of mental or other illness) are often a means of survival and resilience. Through the educational experience, students are guided to shift perspective from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" and away from victim blaming, making books out of glass that reflect the survivor's point of view. The books have been exhibited all over the United States including Paramount Theater in Hollywood and the Museum of American Glass. The award-winning GlassBook Project has been hailed as one of the top mental health innovations in the country, as it facilitates meaningful social change for survivors and build community understanding of the nature and impact of trauma.


"The Newark Public Library is honored to invite the community to view the GlassBook Project Newark exhibit," said Library Director Wilma Grey. "Books can take many forms, and these books are true works of art, conveying a message of coping, healing and hope." 

Montage Changed Relationships

The GlassBook Project is a national initiative currently featuring 44 glass books that build understanding of how people might respond to trauma (e.g. self injury and changes in relationships). The project hopes to lessen the stigma and discrimination often experienced by trauma victims that can keep them disconnected from their communities and support networks. The GlassBook Project also seeks to make systems and programs more responsive and helpful to survivors of trauma. During October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Project is highlighting its collection on the violated victim rights of domestic violence and child abuse survivors.


Commenting on the exhibit, Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) noted, "As we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Newark and our neighboring communities, the GlassBook Project helps us all realize the prevalence of trauma and the need for victim rights to be upheld. This exhibit builds awareness and understanding of the nature and impact of trauma, and that is a starting point for individuals, families and communities to heal and find peace."

Montage Changed Relationships
Nick Kline, "Untitled, from GlassBook Project: Newark," 2010, photomontage, 23" x 94", archival inkjet print

The NPL exhibit of the Project features a site-specific installation by Nick Kline. Seven large-scale

photomontages of the glass books stretch across large wall mounted display cases, creating what the artist refers to as "glimpses that reflect on connectedness." Wrapping around the atrium, the images, along with the books themselves and compelling wall text, are intended to demonstrate the innovation and healing that can come from safe places where people share their stories with active listeners.


The GlassBook Project was created by Artist Nick Kline after reconnecting with childhood friend Helga Luest at a high school reunion. Luest founded Witness Justice, a national nonprofit providing advocacy and support for survivors of violence and trauma, after falling victim to a random attempted murder in 1993. Kline, an accomplished fine art photographer and professor at Rutgers University-Newark, learned about trauma from Luest (now a national expert on the topic) and then envisioned the GlassBook Project as an artwork that would facilitate real social change. The existing three collections on view include: "Self Injury," "After Domestic Violence: Changed Relationships," and an advocacy effort titled "Violated: Domestic Violence And Child Abuse Victim Rights." These books were created in 2009 and 2010 by students at Rutgers University-Newark, Department of Arts, Culture and Media.


In addition to the exhibit, NPL is also supporting a program open for public participation.


WHAT: Exhibition Reception and Programs


SIV Montage
Nick Kline, "Untitled, from GlassBook Project: Newark," 2010, photomontage, 23" x 94", archival inkjet print

5:00-6:00 pm

Exhibition reception

Auditorium, Fourth Floor


5:30 pm

Performance: Sarah Stengle and Rebecca Kelly, "Between the Letters"

Third Floor Gallery


6:00-8:00 pm

Witness: Beyond Sensationalism

Poetry and fiction readings and topic discussion, moderated by Nora Luongo

Auditorium, Fourth Floor


WHEN: October 28, 2010 from 5:00-8:00 pm


WHERE: Auditorium Fourth Floor, Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ


The exhibition, open now through December 31, 2010, may be viewed in the third floor gallery of the Main Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ during regular library hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 am-8:30 pm; and Friday and Saturday, 9:00 am-5:30 pm. Due to budget cuts, all Newark libraries are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.


Exhibition and programs are free and open to the public.


# # #

The GlassBook Project's special advocacy collection on the violated victim rights of domestic violence and child abuse victims was recently featured on Comcast Newsmakers/CNN Headline News (east coast).  To see the interview with Witness Justice President & CEO Helga Luest, visit:

GBP Advocacy Montage
Nick Kline, "Untitled, from GlassBook Project: Newark," 2010, photomontage, 23" x 94", archival inkjet print
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